Roadmap to Recovery: Key Dates and Phases – 22 February 2021
On 22 February the Prime Minister announced the timetable for easing lockdown in England. The roadmap outlines four phases for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, four conditions must be met at each phase of lockdown easing:
- The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
- New variants of the virus do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions
Phase 1 (part 1): 8 March
All schools will reopen, and outdoor after-school activities will be allowed. Secondary school pupils and older will have to wear masks in classes.
Care home residents will be able to have one regular named visitor, with whom they can hold hands.
One person can sit down with another individual from outside their household or bubble for a coffee, drink or picnic. Children will still count towards this.
The “stay at home” order will otherwise stay in place.
Phase 1 (part 2): 29 March
Outdoor gatherings allowed of up to six people, or two households if this is larger, in parks and gardens.
Outdoor sport for children and adults will be allowed including outdoor swimming pools.
The official stay at home order will end, but people will be encouraged to stay local.
People will still be asked to work from home where possible.
Phase 2: No earlier than 12 April
Reopening of non-essential retail, hair and nail salons, indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and pools, public buildings such as libraries and museums, and zoos and theme parks.
Most outdoor venues will reopen, including pubs and restaurants but only for outdoor tables and beer gardens. Customers will have to be seated but there will be no need to have a meal with alcohol.
Reopening of holiday lets with no shared facilities, but only for one household.
Funerals can have up to 30 attendees, while weddings, receptions and wakes can have 15.
Wider social contact rules will continue to apply in all settings, meaning no indoor mixing between different households will be allowed.
Phase 3: No earlier than 17 May
Most mixing rules lifted outdoors, with a limit of 30 people meeting in parks or gardens.
Indoor mixing will be allowed, up to six people or two households.
Indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants, hotels, cinemas and group exercise classes will reopen. The new indoor and outdoor mixing limits will remain for pubs and other hospitality venues.
Domestic overnight stays will be allowed and this will be the earliest date at which international holidays could resume.
For sport, indoor venues can have up to 1,000 spectators or half capacity, whichever is lower; outdoors the limit will be 4,000 people or half capacity, whichever is lower. Very large outdoor seated venues, such as big football stadiums, where crowds can be spread out, will have a limit of 10,000 people, or a quarter full, whichever is fewer.
Weddings will be allowed a limit of 30 people, with other events such as christenings and barmitzvahs also permitted.
Phase 4: No earlier than 21 June
All legal limits removed on mixing will be removed and the last sectors to remain closed, such as nightclubs, will reopen. Large events can take place.
There are likely to be changes to wider social distancing measures.
New system of health measures at the border – 9 February 2021
It is currently illegal to travel abroad without a legally permitted reason to do so. A new three-part system of health measures at the border will come into force on 15 February for the minority who are travelling for exceptional purposes. The three parts are as follows: Hotel quarantine, testing and enforcement.
Any returning UK and Irish residents from red list countries will have to quarantine in an assigned hotel room for 10 days from the time of arrival.
They will have to book a quarantine package through an online platform that will go live on 11 February. The package costs £1,750 for an individual travelling alone, which includes the hotel, transport and testing.
When they arrive, they will be escorted to a designated hotel and will need to remain in their rooms for 10 days.
From 15 February all international arrivals will be required by law to take two PCR tests on day 2 and day 8 of that quarantine. Before they travel, passengers will have to book the tests through an online portal that will go live on 11 February.
If either of these post-arrival tests comes back positive, passengers will have to quarantine for a further 10 days from the date of the test.
There will be fines in place for people who don’t comply:
- a £1,000 penalty for any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory test
- a £2,000 penalty to any international arrival who fails to take the second mandatory test, as well as automatically extending their quarantine period to 14 days
- and a £5,000 fixed penalty notice, rising to £10,000, for arrivals who fail to quarantine in a designated hotel
Anyone who lies on a passenger locator form will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Click here to read the full statement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
COVID-19 Vaccine – January 2021
Getting your COVID-19 vaccine protects not only you, but also your family, friends and community. The NHS are working hard to vaccinate people against COVID-19 and will let you know when it’s your turn to be vaccinated. Please ensure you take up your vaccination appointment when invited.
For more information, please visit Westminster Council’s page of FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccine, which can be accessed here.
NHS Test and Trace – September 2020
From 24 September a wide range of premises including pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, museums, churches and local authority public buildings will need to display a unique Quick Recognition Code at their entrance, which visitors will scan using the new NHS Test and Trace app. This will automatically register their presence at this location.
It will be a legal requirement, enforced by local authorities, for every relevant premises to display the QR code. Click here to access the government website to create a unique QR code for your premises.
The new government QR code will supersede any existing QR code systems and manual logging of names and numbers. It will not be a legal requirement to download and use the app.
You might find the below resources useful:
- Introducing the NHS Covid-19 App, NHS Test & Trace
- How to Create a QR Poster for Your Venue, NHS Test & Trace
- Tips for How to Display Your QR Poster, NHS Test & Trace
- How to Use QR Codes to Check Into a Venue, NHS Test & Trace
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Collection of Contact Details etc and Related Requirements) Regulations 2020, legislation.gov.uk
Guidance – July 2020
- Guidance for all workplace settings can be found here.
- Test & Trace guidance: Organisations in certain sectors should keep a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. Full guidance can be found here.
- TfL have spoken with many leisure and hospitality businesses and as a result have developed a short briefing for hospitality businesses.
- Westminster City Council has published guidance for pubs, bars and restaurants in response to questions they have received and to highlight any other information that may be useful. You can find them on the Council’s website here. Westminster published a licensing update on 24 July.
- Guidance on reduced VAT rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions can be found here.
Working Safely Tool – June 2020
To help employers reopen their businesses safely, the Government has launched a new tool to identify the most relevant guidance for your business. The guidance highlighted will help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce.
Employees can also use this guidance to check what their workplace needs to do to keep people safe.
This guidance is only for businesses that are allowed to reopen in England and can be found here.
Recovery Plan: Supporting Our Members – June 2020
Marble Arch London BID has launched its Recovery Plan, helping our members get back to business.
The Marble Arch Recovery Plan focuses on five pledges, as we emerge from this Covid-19 crisis to facilitate recovery.
- Advocacy and Lobbying – as the single external agency entirely focused on the Marble Arch and Edgware Road district, we have been working with Westminster City Council and Transport for London to create safer and wider walking routes, promoting food and beverage locations for extended tables and chairs and lobbying for a relaxation of Sunday trading laws. We have assisted business access grants and rates relief.
- A Safe Return – the BID has led the way on the external environment, providing queue markers and helping with queue management. We are helping our members access safe and sustainable travel options, as well as ensuring that work places can be Covid-safe.
- Enhanced Street Services – the Marble Arch Street Team are on hand to help our members six days a week, from 8am to 10pm. The BID is hot-washing pavements to ensure the environment clean, and we have successfully campaigned for the completion by TfL of crossing works at the remaining junctions on Edgware Road from July.
- Keeping you Connected – we will keep our members updated on the latest government advice and guidelines, and continue our popular webinar and training series, sharing best practice from overseas where it is applicable to the UK. We have joined the London Alliance consumer confidence campaign and are working with destination marketing agencies to roll out new domestic and international campaigns to support our hospitality sector. Our Community Programme has brought together hotels, venues and offices to support charities and schools throughout the crisis, and will continue to offer virtual volunteering until people return to their places of work and social distancing regulations are reduced.
- Advice and Intelligence – the BID will share real time information through our dedicated Covid Resource Centre, and ensure that every business sector receives the tailored advice and support it needs. Our Footfall Counters have proved invaluable in tracking visitor numbers throughout the pandemic and lockdown. An Edgware Road Insights Study is now underway to better define catchment areas and the impact of the pandemic on the district.
You can read or download our Marble Arch Recovery Plan here.
Recommendations for our members – June 2020
Going back to work
You can travel to work, including to provide voluntary or charitable services, where you cannot work from home and your workplace is open. With the exception of the organisations covered above in the section on closing businesses and venues, the government has not required any other businesses to close to the public.
However, businesses must behave responsibly now and mitigate risk of a second wave of infection. Please follow Government guidance, employees who can work from home should still work from home.
Here at Marble Arch BID we are linked into networks of other BIDs and we have used our sources to identify suppliers of PPE and other equipment businesses may need to prepare for re-opening, whether you are a shop, cafe or office or any other type of business. Please click here to see a list of recommended suppliers.
Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters has produced some security guidance as you get ready to reopen your business. It includes advice on queues and social distancing, search and screening, restricted entry points, and personnel and people security issues.
Staff and well-being
We recommend that your staff are trained and aware of any new rules and guidance that your business puts in place. These may include: regular hand-washing, guidance on what personal protection equipment (PPE) will be provided for staff, new cleaning regime, recommendations of the safest ways to travel to and from work e.g. flexible hours to avoid limited capacity on public transport, walking / cycling routes.
Alternative ways to travel, such as walking and cycling, could relieve the pressure on public transport. If you would like to put in place a cycle to work scheme, please read the Department for Transport’s Cycle to Work Scheme Guidance for Employers, covering benefits, eligibility, equipment, taxation, and salary sacrifice and national insurance contributions.
It is evident from our conversation with local businesses on 6 May that the Government needs to provide accurate guidelines to help businesses get employees back to work safely, but businesses will need to do more to ensure employees feel safe, even more so in the hospitality and retail sectors where back of house staff often work in small spaces. Employers must communicate guidelines clearly and repeat them constantly.
Health and Safety Executive have published some guidance on how to keep people safe at work, click here to find out more.
The London Fire Brigade have published guidance on fire safety matters and returning to work after the Coronavirus lockdown. It contains helpful information from a fire safety perspective including matters related to management of assembly points and evacuation routes impacted by social distancing issues.
Queuing protocol and social distancing
It is important that shops respect neighbouring premises and work together to ensure customers can queue safely.
We are providing free social distancing floor stickers for the pavements outside stores to enable a district wide, uniformed system for safe queuing, please get in touch if you would like free floor markers for your business.
By the 1 June, we installed over 250 queue markers for more than 70 businesses, in over 100 different locations.
Please visit our Social Distancing page for more information.